Health Insurance Tips for Expectant Parents | Core Benefits Group

Posted on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The biggest event of your life is now upon you. Congratulations, you are about to become parents! Now, as you excitedly begin your preparations, there is so much to do that you probably haven’t considered insurance coverage. Well, you should.

In fact, in the list of life’s events most impacted by insurance needs, impending parenthood must be at the top of the list. The time to talk to your insurer about medical coverage for the big event, and all that leads up to, is now. Likewise, you need to address the health insurance needs of your newborn long before that child enters the world. There are many questions to ask, but some take precedence.

Does my current form of insurance cover prenatal care, labor, and delivery?

Actually, if you don’t currently have insurance, the time to ask this question has probably passed. You shouldn’t expect to purchase coverage now. Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing medical condition, so denial of coverage for a woman who applies after learning that she is expecting is common. This will change, however, as the Affordable Care Act stipulates that maternity and newborn services must be covered by all new plans sold to individuals and small businesses, beginning in 2014.

If you do have health insurance, either individually, or through your employer, you can always ask about the details either be calling your agent, or asking your HR professional at work.

Is an HMO, or a PPO, plan better for us?

In most cases, if you are insured under an HMO plan then you are required to visit facilities, physicians, and specialists affiliated with that HMO. You may find that monthly premiums are slightly higher, but out-of-pocket costs, including costs for pregnancies, are often lower. In direct contrast, PPO plans generally offer wider options in doctors, specialists, and care facilities, and costs of premiums vs. out-of-pocket expenses are the exact opposite from HMOs.

Consider, then, how vital the choice of doctors and specialists may be to you. If you want a particular pediatrician for your child who is not in your HMO plan, then the PPO may be for you. However, PPO costs may burden an expecting couple who are already facing many new challenges to their finances.

How can I add my baby to an existing insurance plan?

 You will need to supply a notarized version of your child’s birth certificate to your insurance provider. It is not necessary to provide the exact certificate, although some may also ask for a social security number, which will take several more weeks to get. Be sure to ask if you have a limited amount of time to add your child to the policy. In many cases, the window of opportunity is only 30 days.

There is a lot do, so don’t wait. If you are going to procrastinate over anything, it probably should be in deciding what color to paint the baby’s room.

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